I forgot to take my tallis with me. In fact, I forgot to take a lot of things – but that’s what happens when your nine-year-old comes into the house 15 minutes before Shabbos, bleeding all over the floor with a big gash gaping open on his forehead. In fact, I’m thankful Hashem gave me the presence of mind to insist someone bring the bloody boy his shoes and a clean shirt before the ambulance arrived.
I certainly don’t wish it upon anyone, but going to a shul at a hospital in Israel is quite an experience, a real ingathering of the diaspora. Where else can you see a shul with Sephardim, Chassidim, Litvaks, Yemenites, charedim, knitted-kippah – and secular Jews, too – praying together without making a fuss?
In the morning I came early to the famous synagogue at Hadassah Medical Center, with the Chagall windows, and had a selection of difference talleisim to choose from. There was a tallis with white stripes, an old-fashioned tallis made of thick, coarse wool, starting to yellow, and a Chabad tallis. I went with the Chabad tallis because I’ve always liked the striping pattern. If you’ve never seen a Chabad tallis, not only are the tzitzit unique, but it also has an elaborate pattern of nine black stripes that I happen to really like.
And I’m not the only one. Recently I got an order from someone who wanted a Chabad tallis with tzitzit tied according to the Sephardic custom. When I raised a brow (via e-mail), he replied that he has always been very fond of the look of the Chabad tallis.
For more information on the Chabad tallis, click here.